What is Jamu

What is Jamu? - The Origin of Jamu

Hello and welcome to the JawdaHerbs Blog! This marks our inaugural post, and while it might not seem incredibly exciting at first glance, this topic serves as our starting point. We're delighted to have you here and hope you enjoy what follows.

But wait, don't be discouraged by the initial impression. This is just the beginning, and there's much more in store. We're committed to populating our blog with a wealth of information on health, wellness, and herbs that will captivate your interest. So, let's embark on this journey together – happy reading!

What are Jamu and its History?

Jamu and its History

Jamu is a traditional supplement from Indonesia, with its highest popularity observed in Java.

In history, the herbal culture of jamu was common in the Javanese royal courts of Yogyakarta and Surakarta. Ancient herbal medicine recipes were stored in the royal library, and jamu supplements were prescribed to the Javanese keraton royalties.

According to Javanese beliefs, the renowned beauty of the Putri Keraton (princesses and palace ladies) is attributed to jamu and lulur (traditional lotion).

Jamu is believed to have originated during the Mataram Kingdom era, around 1300 years ago.

The term "jamu" has its roots in Javanese. It is derived from Javanese words, where "Jawa" (JA) refers to "Javanese" or "Java," and "NGRAMU" means "mixing" the ingredients. This roughly translates to "the concoction made by the Javanese" or "the concoction originating from Java" ~ JA "ngra" Mu ~.

Another theory suggests that "jamu" originates from the ancient Javanese term "jampi," which means "magic spell." This refers to the mantras spelled by bomoh (shamans) over the potion. It is believed that jamu was initially used by bomoh as part of their spiritual practices, especially for black magic.

The above are just two theories about its origin. Numerous versions exist, making it challenging to determine the accurate one, as is the case with many other ancient practices.

But wait... that was just a history lesson! At JawdaHerbs, and any other place where you purchase jamu, we don't use "jampi" or any other magical spells in our drinks. We have moved beyond believing that black magic has a place in these modern times :)

Jamu came in what form?

Jamu form

The different forms of turmeric are commonly available in liquid, capsules, pills, or powder, with gummy or chewable tablets being unavailable. Let's go through the pros and cons of each form.

Pills and Capsules

High-quality pills or capsules offer an exceptionally effective delivery system, rendering them the preferred form for most herbal supplements. This preference is based on years of meticulously controlled studies that have affirmed their practicality and efficiency in facilitating absorption.

These pills or capsules might be incorporated for reasons pertaining to stability, manufacturing, or similar factors.

It is believed that tablets exhibit superior stability and shelf life in comparison to alternative options.

Moreover, numerous of these nutrients or herbs possess an unpleasant taste that can prove challenging to mask in other formats.


Pils and Capsule Pros:

  • Long shelf-life

  • Hides bad tastes

Tablet and Capsule Cons:

  • Difficult for some to swallow

  • Not appropriate for sizeable active ingredient doses


The active ingredients in powdered supplements will be tasted, so they must possess a pleasant or easily masked flavor. They must also contain ingredients that are soluble in the liquid or can be easily shaken or stirred.

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), creatine, and caffeine are commonly present in powdered mixes. Immune-boosting formulas are also frequently available in sachet packs, making them easily mixable with water.

Jamu powder is currently trendy in Indonesia and is known for its unpleasant taste. As a result, many younger generations often refrain from consuming jamu after their first try.

Powder Pros:

  • Inexpensive to pack or transport

  • Can include large doses of active ingredients

Powder Cons:

  • Less concentrated active ingredients

  • Added sweeteners and excipients


Liquid supplements generally share the same ingredients, benefits, and drawbacks as powdered versions; the key difference is that they come pre-mixed with a liquid base.

Liquid supplements are particularly well-suited for ingredients commonly found in powders, such as protein, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), creatine, and caffeine. Micronutrients that are frequently present in liquid supplements include various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Due to their pre-mixed nature, liquid supplements typically have a shorter shelf life compared to their powdered counterparts.

Liquid supplements may also necessitate the inclusion of more "additional" components, such as emulsifiers, solvents, preservatives, stabilizing agents, coloring, flavoring, and more.

The great news is that Jamu is crafted from natural ingredients like herbs, roots, etc., making it possible to brew or cold-press it into Jamu Juice easily! To avoid all the "extra" ingredients, make sure to opt for freshly made Jamu.

Liquids Pros:

  • More convenient than mixing powders

  • Can include large doses of active ingredients

Liquids Cons:

  • More expensive and difficult to pack and transport

  • Difficult to add non-soluble ingredients

  • Added sweeteners

  • Often a shorter shelf-life

Herbs used in Jamu

What herbs used in Jamu

There are hundreds of herbs for jamu recipes and prescriptions. Some are:

Roots (Rhizomes):

  • Bengle (Zingiber brevifolium)
  • Jahe Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
  • Kencur Aromatic Galangal (Kaempferia galanga)
  • Kunyit Turmeric (Curcuma domestica)
  • Lempuyang (Zingiber zerumbet or Zingiber aromaticum)
  • Lengkuas or Laos Greater Galangal (Alpinia galanga)
  • Temulawak (Curcuma xanthorrhiza)


  • Adas (Foeniculum vulgare Mill)


  • Ceplukan Cutleaf groundcherry (Physalis angulata)
  • Jeruk Nipis Key lime (Citrus aurantifolia Swingle)
  • Nyamplung or kosambi (Calophyllum inophyllum)


  • Kayu Manis Cinnamon (Cinnamomum burmannii)


  • Ilang-ilang Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata)
  • Melati Jasmine (Jasminum sambac)
  • Rumput Alang-alang (Gramineae)


  • Brotowali or bratawali (Tinospora crispa or Tinospora tuberculata rumphii)
  • Sambang Darah (Excoecaria cochinchinensis or Excoecaria bicolor)
  • Secang (Caesalpinia sappan)

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